LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas cafe is celebrating Juneteenth by serving up sweet and savory Southern eats. Juneteenth is a federal holiday that commemorates the official end of slavery in the U.S. and there’s no better way to celebrate the rich history than through the taste of soul food.

Gritz Café, located near MLK and Lake Mead boulevards, is one of the longest-running black-owned businesses in Las Vegas, known for serving up tasty soul food with a twist. From its crispy fried chicken and catfish to sweet potato waffles and buttery biscuits, and the famous creamy grits sprinkled with crumbly bacon and cheddar cheese, the restaurant tells the trials and triumphs of Black Americans over the years.

Las Vegas’ Gritz Cafe in the historic westside is known for its Southern-style food. (KLAS)

“Soul food basically originated from slaves who really just made a way out of no way,” said Trina Jiles, owner of Gritz Cafe. “They were given the scraps and then they found a way to make sure that the food was tasty, and now all Americans love soul food, so we’re here to serve it up.”

One of their specialties is the fried catfish – a Southern soul food staple, battered and fried until golden brown.

“It’s all about our Southern roots,” Jiles said. “In the South, the catfish (are) bottom feeders. As a culture, we typically didn’t have the best fish to choose from so we just decided to make sure (the catfish) is the tastiest possible.”

Jiles is celebrating Juneteenth alongside her family and the community with a festival at Craig Ranch Park. The F.A.I.T.H. Freedom Festival will feature live music and entertainment, cultural performances, food vendors, and fireworks. It takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Gritz Café is open every day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information can be found at this link.

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